THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 140
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?
 
 
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140 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bnations, between the seventh day and the other six days of bactivities . . . This is how the new week begins in every bJewish home. The Sabbath has drawn to a close and the bnight of the next day has fallen with the family gathered baround over a cup of wine, a candle, and spices to declare bHavdala—separation, the differentiation of the Jew and all bof his ways. This is how the week begins for the Jew as he bturns to one and all with the traditional greeting of “A gut bvoch,” “Shavua tov,”—May it be a good week.

bIn reality, the Jew pronounces his Havdala before he bcomes home from synagogue. During the ma’ariv (evening) bservice he already inserts into the first of the middle ben- bedictions of the silent Amida the “shmone esray,” the same bwords that he will later repeat at home over the cup of wine. bIn the very first benediction—the one that begins “Thou bgranteth man knowledge and teacheth the human bwisdom”—the rabbis insert the Havdala, the prayer of dif- bferentiation. And, predictably, the rabbis of the Talmud bpuzzle over the insertion in this particular one more than in bany other. And they answer: The reason that Havdala, bdifferentiation, found its place in the benediction over bknowledge and wisdom is because of the stark, simple, and binescapable fact that if man does not have knowledge and bwisdom, he will never be able to differentiate. In the words bof the rabbis, “If there is no knowledge, how can one dif- bferentiate?” (Talmud Yerushalmi, Berachot V:2)

bIt is sad that so many among us never pronounce the bHavdala—whether at the end of the Sabbath, the middle of bthe week, or any other time in most of their lives. It is sadder bstill because so many of us have long ceased to be able to bdifferentiate because of the inability to understand that bthere is such a thing as differentiation. And saddest of all is bthe fact that the one who has no knowledge, and thus cannot band does not differentiate, brings disaster upon all of us bbecause of his myopia.

bThis is why we have the Jew who, when it comes to Jewish bmilitancy against anti-Semites in Brooklyn, or all the Brook- blyns of the United States, shouts, generally from Great Neck bor all the Great Necks of the United States, “Violence! All b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 140
Chapter 4: Violence: Is This Any Way For a Nice Jewish Boy to Behave?